Wildlife Conflicts in India
In India there are many incidents
of human wildlife conflicts. Most of the population in India depend on
agriculture and forests are cleared. Many of these man animal conflicts arise
in natural wildlifeterritories. Many people are dying due to these conflicts
and a huge quantity of crops are being destroyed and these conflicts are also
causing psychological threats on affected communities. Many animals are also
getting killed and there is a disruption in the ecological balance.
In India wild elephants kill more
people than leopards, lions and tigers but human leopard conflict has much more
public attention compared to other animals. All these wild animals are also
The main reason for the increasing
human wildlife conflicts is the presence of large number of birds and animals outside
the protected areas. Monkeys come out into human settlements because their
natural habitats were destroyed and they adapt to this environment quickly.
Monkeys can find food faster from these human settlements than from forests.
Leopard attacks are increasing in
India and many people are being attacked by leopards. Because of this leopards
are also being killed extensively in retaliation.The most number of cases of
human leopard conflicts are reported in Assam Maharashtra and West Bengal.The
Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is famous for many eating leopards who
have caused a lot of human deaths.
In the Sundarbans mangrove forest
of West Bengal Tiger attacks are increasing as this area has a large population
of tigers. Human elephant conflicts are also on the rise especially in rural
areas of Kerala. The major areas where human bear conflicts arise in India is
in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
In all these conflicts there are
loss of human and animal lives. Many
animals are being endangered or even extinct due to these conflicts. The
leopards, tigers and even elephants are endangered and are protected in Indiaas
they are hunted for ivory tusks or bones. They are also killed by people when
they come out into the human settlements. Even though they are protected there
are still an increasing number of conflicts arising and animal populations are
decreasing. or protected areas face severe problems because of human animal
In Kerala mainly because of drought
there has been an increase in human wildlife conflict especially in Wayanad and
Idukki. Human wildlife conflicts are on the rise because of intrusion of people
into natural habitats and because of changes in land use patterns. Animals like
elephants and boars are becoming aggressive and they are coming out into the
plantations and farms and are destroying crops and causing injuries.
The condition of the people living in
or around natural reserves and forests are bad as they economically backward
and has to tackle the problems of human wildlife conflicts. They have a small
area as their own and whatever they cultivate here for their subsistence are
destroyed by wild animals like boars, elephants, deer etc. They are also
attacked by bears, tigers, leopards etc. They suffer huge injuries and loss of
property. The people who live on the fringes of forests are mostly tribals or
Wild animals have strayed into the borders
of forest areascausing crop losses and loss of lives. Because of destruction of
wildlife corridors, degradation of forest lands, scarcity of food and water
animals are coming out and are causing negative results.
Over the years there has been an
increase in the number of forest fires mostly man made in the forests and it
has destroyed the forest areas.Water scarcity and droughts in the state has also paved way to the
increasing number of animals coming into human settlements attracted by the
artificial water sources constructed by people. Because of hunting there has
been a significant decrease in the number of herbivores animals and this has
caused carnivorous animals to feed on sheep’s or goats who are reared by humans.
If this continue there will be
negative impacts on eco conservation in the long run as people will only think
about their survival and not about coexistence. Animals attacks humans and they
will forget about conservation and will start to blindly kill animals.
Kerala is developing and rapid
urbanisation is happening in Kerala and this has led to the fragmentation of
natural habitats of animals and has increased the conflicts in the state.
In Kerala too these animals are
being killed brutally and they suffer a lot because of destruction of their
natural habitat. These animals are already being hunted for fulfilling the
selfish needs of humans but these increase in changes of land use pattern and
blocking of traditional movement paths has resulted in an increase in the number of wild animals which are being
animal conflicts in Wayanad and Idukki
In many regions of Wayanad there is
a serious threat from tigers who usually kill cattle and injures or kills
people. A team of officers from police department goes in search of these
tigers and they are called as animal trackers. The droppings of tigers, scratch
marks, remains of their kills, smell, tuft of hair caught between plants and
all indicates the presence of tigers in an area. These trackers usually survive
on plantains and water while trying to track tigers.The tiger threat is so
severe in this region and the Forest
Department has proposed to create a natural enclosure for this animal.
The banks of Anayirangal dam reservoir
in Idukki is a hot bed of conflicts especially human elephant conflicts. On the
banks of this dam there is a colony called 301 colony where 301 tribal families
were given land as part of a rehabilitation project. They were given land after
a protest which was staged in Thiruvananthapuram and tribal peoplebuilt make
shift huts near the state secretariat. The protest lasted for forty eight days
then the government agreed to give one acre of land and financial support until
the tribal families become self sufficient. Colonies were set up in many
districts mainly in Kannur, Palakkad, Wayanad and Idukki.
In Idukki a pine plantation near
Anayirangal dam was cleared for constructing settlements but soon herds of elephants
began to come out into these settlements. The pine plantation was a main source
of water and food for the elephants and there already small habitat became
smaller because of these new settlements for the homeless tribal families. This
paved way to conflicts and elephant raids and most of the people abandoned this
Idukki has a lot of mountains and
forests and the clearing and human interventions into these areas has resulted
in increased conflicts especially between humans and elephants.These areas are
mainly populated by tribals, labourers and migrants and because of changes in
habitat there has been an increase in conflicts in these areas.
Large areas of forestshave been
cleared and converted into farms and plantations especially of tea, coffee,
cardamom and pepper.The degradation of forests, eco-insensitive projects, and unscientific
tourism methods have all contributed to the increasing number of conflicts.
People are making electric fences but elephants are intelligent enough to break
tree trunks and insulate the fences.
In Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary the Indian
Purple Frog which is an endemic and endangered specie is facing threats of
extinction. The tribals in this area has been harvesting tadpoles and this has
lead to the decrease in the number of these amphibians. The number of
elephants, tigers boars and all are also decreasing and if this continues there
will be extinction of some species due to human animal conflicts.
Crop raiding by animals is another important issue and there has been
an increase in crop raiding in Idukki and Wayanad. This crop raiding affected
the farmer’s food and security and they retaliated by killing the animals.The
main crop raiders are elephants, rats, porcupines, squirrels, wild boars, and peacocks.
Elephants destroys plantations of rubber, coconut etc. Wild boars and squirrels
destroys coconut farms and plantain farms and peacocks destroys paddy fields and vegetables